Virginia Advance Directives
Advance Directive registries are systems that allow you to store your AD online, and retrieve it at any location where you have internet access. There are two Advance Directive Registries that are used in Virginia:
VDH Advance Health Care Directive Registry
The VDH Registry is a free service available for all Virginia residents. To ensure your privacy, the registry requires that you type in a 12-digit PIN to access any documents uploaded to the site. If you choose to register your AD with the VDH Registry, you need to make sure that your providers, agent, and loved ones know your PIN so that they can get to your Advance Directive in the event of a crisis.
We strongly encourage you to consider using the VDH Registry in addition to giving copies to your providers. Although many health care providers use electronic recordkeeping these days, they may use different programs from one another. Because of this, just because one provider has a copy of your AD does not mean that another provider has it, too. The VDH Registry was created so there would be one central place that all providers could look to for copies of ADs.
To learn more, or to register your Advance Directive with the Virginia Department of Health, please click here.
U.S. Living Will Registry
You can register your Advance Directive with this national registry directly, or through one of your health care providers, hospitals, or other organizations, if they use the registry. You can find out if one of your providers uses the registry by looking at this website. Unlike the VDH Registry, this one is not free. If one of your providers uses the registry, they might offer a discount to you. Although your doctor does not need a password or PIN to access your AD using the U.S. Living Will Registry, it would be a good idea to let your providers, agent, and loved ones know that you have put your AD on this national registry.
To learn more, or to register your Advance Directive with the U.S. Living Will Registry, please click here.
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This website is not intended to provide legal advice. It is merely a guide, and reflects one view of Advance Directives in Virginia. It can be beneficial to consult with an attorney regarding your Advance Directive. However, the intention of Virginia’s law on Advance Directives is to enable and encourage all capable adults to fill out an Advance Directive on their own.
This website is designed and administered by Mental Health America of Virginia (MHAV) and is funded through a grant by the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services.